Little Black Book of Murder (Blackbird Sisters Series #9)

( 13 )

Overview

Someone’s getting crossed off the register.
 
Nora Blackbird may have been to the manor borne, but these days money is so tight, she can’t afford to lose her job as a society columnist. So when her new boss at the Philadelphia Intelligencer—Australian tabloid editor Gus Hardwicke—tells her to work the celebrity gossip beat or start checking the want ads, the choice is ...

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Little Black Book of Murder (Blackbird Sisters Series #9)

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Overview

Someone’s getting crossed off the register.
 
Nora Blackbird may have been to the manor borne, but these days money is so tight, she can’t afford to lose her job as a society columnist. So when her new boss at the Philadelphia Intelligencer—Australian tabloid editor Gus Hardwicke—tells her to work the celebrity gossip beat or start checking the want ads, the choice is easy.
 
Now Nora’s writing a profile on billionaire fashion designer Swain Starr, who recently retired to build a high-tech organic farm with his new wife, Zephyr, a former supermodel. But before Nora can get the story, the mogul is murdered. And now Gus wants her to snap up an exclusive on who killed Starr before the cops do.
 
But solving a celebrity murder isn’t easy with a home life as colorful as Nora’s. Her sort-of-husband, Mick, a former mobster, is associating once again with unsavory characters. Her sister Libby is on a mission to get her diabolical twins on stage or screen with the help of an unscrupulous former child star. And the youngest Blackbird sister, Emma, just got kicked out of the house by Mick—who refuses to explain why.
 
If anything can bring the blue-blooded Blackbird sisters together, it’s a murder investigation involving high-society events, glamorous people, and the disappearance of a genetically perfect pig that may or may not be basking in the sun at Blackbird Farm. They’ll all have to pull together this time, because if Nora can’t bring home the bacon, she might have to exchange her bucolic estate for a cramped walk-up. 

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Martin’s enjoyable ninth Blackbird Sisters mystery (after 2012’s No Way to Kill a Lady) finds Libby pushing her 13-year-old twins, Harcourt and Hilton, into an acting career; Emma pumping milk for the baby she gave up to her lover and his wife; and Nora trying to maintain her job as society reporter at the Philadelphia Intelligencer. Nora attends a party hosted by wealthy Swain Starr and his new wife, Zephyr, at his state-of-the-art farm, where Swain’s first wife, Marybeth, pokes an antique musket at him and yells about a prize pig. Later, Nora discovers Swain dead in his barn. Nora is torn between her boss’s urging to use her connections to scoop the police on the story; protecting her nephew Rawlins, whose keys she found near the body; and worrying about pet pig Ralphie, who’s at risk from Marybeth’s chef brother. Despite the large cast, Martin keeps the story tight as she smoothly weaves together Blackbird and Starr family dramas. Agent: Meg Ruley, Jane Rotrosen Agency. (Aug.)
Kirkus Reviews
A new boss spells trouble for socialite-turned-reporter Nora Blackbird (No Way to Kill a Lady, 2012, etc.). Aussie expatriate Gus Hardwicke knows how to sell papers. He's turning the Philadelphia Intelligencer into a National Inquirer wannabe, dragging the names of Philly's rich and famous through the mud. And he wants help from Nora Blackbird, whose blue-blood lineage gives her access to all those A-listers. At first, she's willing to probe the stabbing of 60-something fashion designer Swain Starr on the farm he and his second wife, a supermodel named Zephyr, hoped to make a model of organics. After all, Nora's sister Libby's eldest, Rawlins, is questioned by the police just because his abandoned car has been found near the crime scene. But Nora soon learns the social consequences of her snoop-and-tell. She also learns that Gus' interest in her is not entirely platonic. It's not clear why the hunky Australian would mess with someone who shares a bed with mobbed-up Michael Abruzzo, but mess with Nora he does. And Gus' advances are one more mess Nora definitely does not need, distracted as she is by caring for her gracious but decaying family farm, riding herd on her two ditzy sisters and, of course, trying to locate her lost pig, Ralphie. It takes a night in the slammer, a barn fire and the appearance at Blackbird Farm of Noah, the infant Nora thought her sister, Emma, gave up for adoption, to solidify Nora's position as Philadelphia's patron saint of lost causes. Martin's ninth Blackbird sisters entry pushes the envelope over a cliff.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780451415257
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 8/6/2013
  • Series: Blackbird Sisters Series , #9
  • Pages: 384
  • Sales rank: 270,884
  • Product dimensions: 6.40 (w) x 9.25 (h) x 1.25 (d)

Meet the Author

Nancy Martin

Like her heroines, the Blackbird sisters, Nancy Martin comes from a distinguished Pennsylvania family whose ancestors include Betsy Ross, a hanging judge, and a signer of the Declaration of Independence. 

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 13 )
Rating Distribution

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(8)

4 Star

(2)

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Sort by: Showing all of 13 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 29, 2013

    E

    This is just a rehash of the last 5 books in the series. Perhaps Ms. Martin should retire this series.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 5, 2013

    A Tired Series.

    A Tired Series. While this series has always had its ups and downs, I have kept reading them because they were breezy enough to be nice diversions. However, with this latest installment, I think I am officially done. What's good? The fabulous couture clothing, as always; Nora is an appealing if increasingly frustrating heroine, and the familiar setting of Blue Blood social circles is still fun. What is not good? Just about everything else. This plot continues the maddening pattern of simply repeating a lot of the same information about the characters' pasts we read in every addition. Nora and her sisters do not seem to grow as mature people--at all. Emma, the most interesting sister, is once again in a 'on/off the alcohol wagon' cycle where she (and we) have been countless times before. Libby is the most annoying, dumb, character of the series, and I find myself skimming when she comes along--her vast brood of children is equally awful. The love affair with Mick goes in the same old circles: we are subjected to pages of 'will they or won't they? is he a crook or not? can Nora trust him or not? will they have a baby or not? is he involving young Rawlins (subjected to a terrible subplot that left me shaking my head in frustration) in illegal activities?' The list goes on and on. I want this author to make a decision about that relationship and stick with it; instead we, once again, have pages of Mick's mob cronies camped out at Nora's house--much to her dismay but she won't do anything about it. And Nora: subjected to a new, sleazy, Rupert Murdoch-style boss who is just an annoying character. He has no ethics: Nora tolerates it. He sexually harasses her: she tolerates it. All in the name of 'I am not qualified to do anything so I have to keep this job.' One of the most positive changes that could be made to this series is to GET Nora and her sisters on paths of success and independence. Libby depends on sex and men; Emma depends on sex, booze and men, and Nora becomes increasingly willing to depend on 'I have no skills' and Mick--enough. Oh--and having multiple characters carelessly create, abandon, and disregard multiple children is a really awful plot point. After 9 books I do not feel this series has moved much further than first two installments. It's over for me.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 4, 2013

    I have read all of the Blackbird Sister Mysteries, and I have to

    I have read all of the Blackbird Sister Mysteries, and I have to say this one is just as good as the rest.  It kept me interested from page one all the way through to the very end.  I would highly recommend reading this book or any of the Blackbird Sister Mysteries.  

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 6, 2013

    Another great read by Nancy Martin!

    The continuing story of the Blackbird sisters delivered really well. Love the characters and will anxiously await the next in the series!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 30, 2013

    loved it!

    all I can say is keep them coming,Nancy Martin's Blackbird sisters is a hoot between run-away pigs(thats a "tail"all by itself)I love that Nora has finally gotten her wish,no spoilers ya have to read it,.I'm really hoping Emma gets a happy resolution to her complicated life.Please let's have a real wedding now with Mick/Nora.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 30, 2013

    Another great Blackbird Sister Series

    Another sisterly adventure with a organic meat farm and a watch pig on the Blackbird Farm.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 26, 2013

    I always enjoy my visit with Nora Blackbird and her eccentricall

    I always enjoy my visit with Nora Blackbird and her eccentrically quirky family. When Nora happens upon a dead body, the murder hits a little too close for comfort when a family member is implicated.

    In this well-written tome, Nancy takes us on an action-filled and fast-paced drama that didn’t let up from beginning to end. A combination of suspense, murder and comedy brings out the best in the Blackbird sisters and this was a fun ride that continues to entertain me as the sisters’ strength becomes evident as they set out to clear their family name once again, in a manner filled with humorous antics that is the Blackbird Sisters. This is one of the best books yet in this fantastic series and I can’t wait for the next book to come out in this delightfully engaging series.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 12, 2013

    the blackbird sisters stories ae the best, especially since mick

    the blackbird sisters stories ae the best, especially since mick and nora have gotten together forever. swain starr was a high profile designer of clothes, and left that field to become an organic farmer. his second wife was an animal lover. his first wife was very angry with him..why? a special pig was lost and she thought he stole it. confrobnted by her with a gun at a party at his farm was not a good thing, since he turns up dead in his own corral. mick is under house arrest, so he can't help nora sleuth. no matter. this story is not without the twist and turns that make a mystery wondeful. but it also has enough romance, (between mick and nora), to make it that much more interesting and fun. if i were you? i'd make the time to read this story..it will leave you wanting more of mick and nora!

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  • Posted August 6, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    I have enjoyed(and own) every book in this series and this one i

    I have enjoyed(and own) every book in this series and this one is no exception. Nora is really in the middle of a mess in this book- her house is falling down around her, her sister Libby has decided to push her twin boys into acting, her husband/ lover Mick is going stir crazy on house arrest and her younger sister, Emma, is not handling her personal issues in a really adult manner.
    Nora is having problems with her new boss a Rupert Murdoch wannabe who thinks scandal is they way to beef up circulation at the newspaper. He wants Nora to get the dirt on the marriage of a famous older designer and his new young trophy wife. Nora is friendly with the discarded first wife. The next thing you know, Nora is in the middle of a murder case.
    What I really like about this series is how Nora remains true to her mainline roots no matter what is going on around her. She manages to keep her family afloat and relatively sane through all kinds of crazy crisis situations. Her lover Mick is trying to cut his ties with his mob family without causing a huge blowup. Neither of them have any money but they manage to provide for each other both emotionally and physically. I love the balance they give each other. Nora's sisters cause her so much trouble but in spite of that the three work together to solve the murder with her sisters contributing in their own bizarre ways.
    I also enjoy the references to vintage couture and the upper echelons of society and how it works. This book ends with a big open ending that long time fans will adore! Clever Nancy Martin knows how to keep us hooked and anticipating the next book.
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    Posted January 7, 2014

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 10, 2013

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 27, 2013

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 9, 2013

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